Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Khmer New Year sees 24pc drop in traffic accidents, deaths

Khmer New Year sees 24pc drop in traffic accidents, deaths

Khmer New Year sees 24pc drop in traffic accidents, deaths

Govt officials put the drop down to this year's concerted road-safety campaign.

SAFER ROADS

The first three months of 2009 saw 1,611 traffic accidents and 415 deaths, according to Keo Savin, chief of the Department of Land Transport in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works. Some 1,572 died in road accidents in 2008, slightly up from 2007, which saw 1,545 deaths.

TRAFFIC accidents decreased by nearly a quarter during last week's Khmer New Year compared with last year's holiday, according to transport officials, who have credited the government's public information campaigns for the sharp drop-off.

Keo Savin, chief of the Ministry of Transport and Public Works' Department of Land Transport, said the Ministry of Interior had recorded 240 traffic accidents during this New Year, compared with 317 in 2008 - a decrease of 24 percent across the country.

Of these, 52 people died, compared with 59 road deaths in 2008, he added.

"The traffic accidents have gone down from last year because we have educated people about the traffic law and told them how to avoid traffic accidents in the week leading up to Khmer New Year," Keo Savin said Wednesday.

"We have cooperated with NGOs, television networks and other media in order to educate all drivers and passengers about how to protect themselves from traffic accidents."

He also expressed hopes that government and NGO efforts would continue to push down road fatalities in the coming years.

Pen Kun, deputy chief of Phnom Penh's traffic police, agreed the public information campaign had helped pushed down the number of those

injured and killed on the Kingdom's roads.

"I think traffic accidents have decreased because of the broadcasts about traffic problems and road rules on television, radio and other media," he said, adding that the capital saw four deaths and 23 injuries resulting from road accidents during the three days of the Khmer New Year holiday. 

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